GSM/LGBTQ Identity & Activism

Covering a wide range of sexuality and gender experiences and identities, this category includes such topics as queer/LGBT identity in a straight world, activism, queer spirituality, and transition.

Strategies for Everyday Activism

What kind of subtle decisions do we make in our everyday lives that constitute a kind of activism, and how can we implement these decisions more effectively? From the conscious choice to mention the gender of a partner, to choosing to hold someone’s hand in public, or “accidentally” revealing to a homophobic store clerk that yes, some fags do carry a concealed firearm. In this class, we will talk about how we can advance the place of LGBT people in the everywhere through the tiny ripples we make as we move through the world.

The Unintentional Closet: Queer Identity in Hetero-presumptive Situations

It’s a straight world out there. What effect does it have on our identities as queer people when we are in situations where the people around us make assumptions about our sexuality orientation or gender identity. Does it matter how the world outside our doors perceives us, or can we go through life knowing who we are without that external validation? In this workshop we will commiserate, discuss and strategize ways to live, work and play in a our broader communities, while still staying true to ourselves and maintaining the crucial balance between being out and getting ourselves in trouble.

Out in the World

For some of us, high school and/or college can be a wonderful time of self-discovery and community. For others it is a trial to be endured, the reward of which we are assured, is the freedom to embrace our true selves when we go out into the world on our own. Regardless of your experience, the transition from high school into college, and then from there into the “real world” (or directly into the “real world” if college is not part of your path) can be an exciting, daunting, magical, and dangerous, time for young queer/LGBT people. In this workshop we’ll talk about coming out, building a “family of choice,” interacting with school administration and employers, confronting homo/transphobia on our own, relationships, self-identity and more.

Guy Problems: An Intersectional Look at Societal Oppression of Men & Boys

There is no denying that men carry a significant amount of privilege in our society. For that matter, the bulk of the oppression and injustice that abounds in our world can be laid at the feet of (mostly white and cis) men. It is easy then, especially for those of us in the queer and social justice movements, to have monolithic ideas of what it means to be a guy. And the fact that ‘men’s issues’ has become synonymous with misogyny thanks to the MRA movement doesn’t help mutual understanding. But there are issues that men & boys struggle with, and ways that being a guy in our society can suck too. This workshop looks at a variety of those issues with an eye towards dispelling assumptions, enhancing empathy, and finding points of intersection with the lives and struggles of other people.

Concepts of Kink

Join sex and kink educator/event producer Wintersong for an informative, yet lighthearted, whirlwind tour through the mysterious and convoluted world of the kink community. We will discuss the myriad variation of what it is that “kinky” people like to do and why they do it, give an overview of various kink subcultures, address issues of gender and sexuality as they apply to common themes within the kink world, and of course, answer your questions. Whether “the scene” is a place you call home, or the very idea of kink sexuality makes you uncomfortable (and everywhere in between) you’re sure to learn something, maybe about yourself.

Exploring Dynamics of Trans/Cis Relationships

There are unique internal and external challenges and joys in relationships between transgender people and cisgender people. While everyone’s experience is different, there are common themes that crop up from within and without in this situation. Together we will look at some of the internal processes, communication strategies, experiences of and in community, distinctive dynamics, and more, that are sometimes found these relationships, with an eye towards being healthier, happier and more understanding partners.

Considerations for Trans/Cis Erotic Play

It’s awesome when two or more people are interested in play, sex, or dating. When one or more of those people are trans*, and one or more of them are cis, there are particular communication strategies, pressures, joys, and other considerations, that can be valuable to acknowledge and work with. Whether you’re looking for a quick pickup or a lasting relationship, this workshop will help provide you with concrete tools and strategies for how these interactions can, and do, work.

Living “Outside the Box”

Lesbian-Gay-Bi-Trans-Queer-Questioning-Intersex-Ally the list could go on. We “box” our selves in a wide variety of ways, not just with regards to our gender and our sexuality, but also our politics, religious beliefs, even our computer choices (gods forbid one own both a Mac and a PC). The truth is that for many of us, these categories have gotten limiting. Sometimes our “boxes” can feel in conflict with one another, or we are perceived as “other” by one community we feel kinship with because of our ties to another. In this workshop we will discuss strategies for living “outside the box” and embracing our individuality without loosing the vital sense of connection to community that many of us crave.

Spirituality of Queer Acts

Being LGBT is not just about who we are as people, it can also be about the cultural and behavior activities we engage in. This workshop is a facilitated discussion about where we find the spiritual meaning, grounding, and significance in the acts that help define us as LGBT people. Obviously this can include the marvelous varieties of queer sex, but we’ll also look at the spiritual meaning of such varied acts as going to a Broadway show (or watching Glee if you don’t have the budget), receiving a hormone injection, showing affection in public, and whatever other ideas you bring to the table.

Confronting the Myths of Male Circumcision

Living in the United States, most people simply accept the practice of male circumcision without thinking overmuch about it. In clinging doggedly to circumcision, America is unique among all other western countries. Why is it that no matter what the evidence, there always seems to be a new reason found to engage in this practice? In this workshop we will address the history, the myth, and the misinformation that is at the heart of the circumcision debate.